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A London recruiting agency took down a listing for a $127k/year dog nanny role after being flooded with applications. The live-in position, which included escorting two dogs on international vacations, didn’t explicitly say experience writing for The Hustle was a must, but we can read between the lines and will be waiting by the phone all day…

In today’s email:

  • TikTok: Holding those puppet strings over corporate America.
  • Navel gazing: Florida’s orange growers have lost their zest for life.
  • Digits: Smooth moves for curdled cheese, $1m+ weddings, and more newsy numbers.
  • Around the Web: The first bar code, shorter meetings, cozy video games, and more.

👇 Listen: Orange you glad you’re not in the orange industry right now?

podcast media player
The big idea
TikTok app

Brands do as TikTok commands

Starbucks, Chipotle, and a host of other brands all have one thing in common: TikTok rules everything around them.

The ever-changing whims of the app’s 50m+ daily active users are changing the way businesses develop and release products, per The Wall Street Journal.

Whatever TikTok wants

Restaurants are modifying menus to satiate demands and ease worker burdens.

Chipotle officially added the “Keithadilla” — an off-menu hack popularized by influencers Alexis Frost and Keith Lee — to its menu after customers trying to order it created mayhem in stores.

At Starbucks, increasingly complicated TikTok drinks have become the bane of baristas’ existence — but the coffee chain’s no stranger to the internet’s demands: In 2017, pre-TikTok, Starbucks added the customer-created viral “Pink Drink” to its menu and released a bottled version in April.


… brands from fashion to food are monitoring trends in fashion and beauty, then work at lightning speed to get a product out before the fad fades.

  • Edikted, a fast-fashion company that contracts with third-party factories, can create new products in 12 days.
  • TikTok’s move away from tight skinny jeans inspired Aeropostale to increase its loose-fit denim offerings, which went from 7% of sales in 2020 to 40% in 2022; it saw a 15% increase in profits.
  • Dave’s Gourmet rushed to bring the viral (and controversial) Pink Sauce to market in 90 days.

If there’s any caveat…

… it’s that TikTok, and the internet in general, can be fickle. What’s hot one minute is dated the next, resulting in unlaunched products or unsold stock.

Fast fashion, in particular, has been called out for its negative impacts on the environment as it — and its customers — scramble to keep pace with mercurial trends.

That Keithadilla, though? That’s timeless.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Maury Povich built a media empire on settling paternity disputes, so why not follow that up with an at-home paternity test kit empire? Povich fronts a new DNA testing company, appropriately named after his daytime talk show catchphrase: The Results Are In.


Bending the rules: The Supreme Court is expected to issue opinions on a number of topics as soon as this week, including affirmative action in college admissions — which may open the door to corporate diversity initiative rollbacks — and protections around online threats.

TodAI in AI: Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” series debuted last week to backlash over its AI-generated opening credits. The VFX studio behind it said no human jobs were replaced, but still, a strange look for Marvel, a brand built on comic artists.

Flight of fancy: The Apple Vision Pro is expected to have a “Travel Mode” that limits features and prompts wearers to stay stationary. Just letting you know in case you’re the one weirdo out there absolutely jonesing to wear a headset on an airplane.

Yikes: If a kid you know and love has a robotic “Baby Shark” bath toy, check the recall information. Toymaker Zuru pulled 7.5m of its shark toys from the market for “posing risks of impalement.”

Bad look, US: Times are tight and charitable organizations felt that hard last year — Americans gave $17.3B less to charity than they did in 2021, per Giving USA. The reductions came on the individual level; donations from corporations and foundations increased.

Seeing green: California devoted another 74.6k+ acres of farmland to pistachios between 2020 and 2022, a 20% increase, given high demand. But it’ll take a while to reap the benefits — the trees usually take 8-12 years to reach full bearing.

While we’re in California… The state’s new income limits set quite the high bar — single persons earning less than $70k in LA, $80k in Orange County, and $104k in three Bay Area counties now count as “low income.” Median annual earnings in the US are projected to be ~$57.2k this year.

Mindset shift: If you’re feeling stuck, it could be coming from within. Here’s how to develop a growth mindset and get out of a rut.

boxes of orange produced by year
Olivia Heller

Orange you glad you’re not in the orange industry right now?

To any orange juice fans reading this (except for those who like it in their cereal), apologies in advance.

Florida — a state whose license plates feature oranges, whose official flower is the orange blossom, whose official beverage is OJ, and whose citrus market is valued at $6.9B — is struggling to grow oranges.

The Agriculture Department estimates that the state’s farms will generate 15.75m 90-pound boxes of oranges this season. That may sound like a lot, until you realize that, just two decades ago, Florida was pumping out 250m+.

Let’s peel back the rind on this

It’s been a rough couple of decades for orange producers, per The Washington Post:

  • Insects that cause an incurable bacterial disease among trees, known as greening, arrived in Florida in 1998, spurring a rapid (and ongoing) production decline.
  • In recent years, hurricanes and cold spells have accelerated that decline.
  • Brazil, which is typically an additional source of oranges, is also weathering its own weather-related shortages.

You don’t have to be Janet Yellen to know what happens when supplies drop — OJ prices in January were up 20%+ from 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As yields declined, two-thirds of processors shut their doors between 2006 and 2016, and some of those still around are weighing a pivot to other crops.

The hope: that University of Florida scientists, who are working to develop greening-resistant citrus trees, can quickly work some miracles.

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Free Resource

How to blog for your business

Blogging isn’t just about cranking out content.

It’s about building a digital empire — being a reliable resource for others in your industry who crave deep information.

But you can’t just drop a few posts and start reaping the rewards. Strengthen your content planning and technical process with this brand-blogging ebook made by our storytelling experts.

Because if you’ll be living online for a while, you’d probably enjoy a steady stream of leads via search engines and social media.

Build-a-blog kit →
wedding cake topper

Digits: 7-figure weddings, the IRS on a roll, and more newsy numbers

1) The cottage cheese industry is really milking the opportunity to serve the ~40% of adults who want more protein in their diets, churning out huge profits in the process. In the last year, sales have risen 15.9% to $1.2B, and TikToks with the hashtag #cottagecheese have 340m+ views, 135m of which came in the last 120 days.

2) Weddings have a lot of couples saying “I do” to debt. With the estimated cost of the average American wedding ballooning to $30k, 30%-45% of newly married couples in the US took on debt to pay for their big day. Helping to drive up the average: the 13k+ US weddings that cost $1m+ last year.

3) Does your to-do list feel impossible? Let the IRS offer some hope for getting through it: Between the 2022 and 2023 filing seasons, America’s federal tax agency slashed its backlog of unprocessed paper returns by 80%, from 13.3m to 2.6m. Want to call with your congrats? It may actually work — 35% of customer service calls are now answered, up from 11%.

4) What a site! Squarespace is hoping to continue domain-ating the website-building business with its ~$180m purchase of Google Domains’ assets, including 10m domains, as the Google unit looks to wind down.

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💰 On this day: In 1974, the first bar code was scanned. It was on a pack of Juicy Fruit gum at a grocery store in Troy, Ohio.

🕣 How to: Hold shorter meetings.

✏️ Video: Good copy turns words into money. Here are some best practices to convert more customers and win more business.

🥹 Chill out: A collection of wholesome games for when you feel like being cozy, not a monster-slayer.

🦌 Aww: Vampire deer are named for their fangs. And these ones are just three weeks old.

mental math tweet

Actual work? [Forgets how to do basic addition.] Justifying another pad thai order? “Hello, it’s me, the modern-day Fibonacci.” (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Lives in LA County but works in orange count-y” Berkley.

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